First edition of Shop Qatar kicks off

Rupkatha Bhowmick

The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) launched the first edition of the month-long Shop Qatar festival at the Mall of Qatar. Organised by, the festival offers an array of entertainment and shopping activities.

Taking place from January 7 to February 7, Shop Qatar 2017 offers residents and visitors discounts on popular brands, raffle draws with cash prizes worth QR4 million in addition to entertainment. The festival will also bring in several food trucks and stalls on the Doha Corniche from January 12-14.

Festival partners include Mall of Qatar, Ezdan Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Al Khor Mall, Lagoona Mall, Gulf Mall, Landmark, Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate and The Pearl-Qatar.

Similar to the successful Dubai Shopping Festival in design and concept, Shop Qatar is expected to boost tourism and the retail industry with a 15% increase in tourists compared to last year. Shop Qatar is designed to be the driving force behind the country’s renewed focus on tourism and retail sector with an aim to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas sector and diversify the economy.

According to Mashal Shahbik, director of Festivals and Tourism Events at QTA, Shop Qatar is expected to increase footfall in the malls and souks by 30%. “Shop Qatar showcases the best Qatar has to offer in retail and entertainment while capitalising on the country’s pleasant winter weather. We are very grateful for the collaborative spirit our partners in the public and private sectors have shown as we build a brand new tradition through the first edition of this festival,” Shahbik adds.

Another key focus of Shop Qatar is to support local businesses and talents. In order to showcase work by local designers the festival features 30 pop-up shops spread across five of the participating malls. While the majority of the pop-up shops will be selling clothing, kids’ fashion, abayas, jewellery and accessories, others will be selling art, furniture and chocolate.

“The pop up shops allow budding designers and businesses run from home to showcase their products. We have partnered with Virginia Commonwealth University — Qatar (VCU-Q), the university dedicated to art and design, to provide a platform for their students and graduates to showcase their work,” says Shahbik.